Retirement Age on the Rise

The average retirement age today is four years older than it was in 1991, according to Gallup’s annual “Economy and Personal Finance” survey.

That age may be younger than expected, however. The average age at which current U.S. retirees say they retired is now 61, up from 59 in 2003 and 57 in 1991, and most of the uptick came before the 2008 recession.

Preretirees expect a delayed retirement. The average nonretired American currently expects to retire at age 66, up from 60 in 1995. Currently, 37% of nonretired Americans say they expect to retire after age 65, up from 22% a decade ago and 14% in 1995. The percentage of nonretirees who expect to retire by age 65 has declined, down to 26% from 49% in 1995.

Many preretirees nearing retirement age are not as near to retirement as they may have hoped, Gallup reports, while younger workers are more optimistic. More than half of nonretirees aged 58 to 64 expect to retire after age 65, compared with 36% of nonretirees aged 50 to 57, 38% of those between 30 and 49, and just 26% of those younger than 30.

According to Gallup, 61% of respondents claimed they are worried about having enough money for retirement, and may be prolonging their careers to save more in order to live comfortably.

Gallup’s survey was conducted between April 4 and 14, 2013. 

Sara Kelly